December 31, 2011 Subject:
Excellent early SD show played to a big crowd
This show was performed as part of the initial 13-date tour around the release of Siamese Dream. The tour began on 7/23 in Milwaukee and concluded with the three Metro shows in Chicago on 8/12-8/14. This show took place in the middle of that stretch of dates, and was performed to a huge outdoor crowd. What's nice is that the crowd is obviously into the band, even though the band had not yet broken to the mainstream, and the new album had only been out for just under two weeks. You can hear the audience sing along to the new songs as well as the old.
The other nice thing about this show is that it takes place during that very brief period where the band were still playing the new songs with a good amount of fresh enthusiasm, and keeping the tempo of the new songs faithful to the versions on the album. Billy's vocals were still in good shape, and the band still had plenty of humor and friendly rapport with the audience. Unfortunately, by the time the band returned from the Europe/UK tour to begin their official October-November-December tour of the US, they will have already standardized their live show, the songs will have been given a heavier and more rushed treatment, the vocals will have become more scream-oriented, and Billy's attitude towards the audience will have become more confrontational and challenging. Whereas here, the band are enthusiastic, they chat and makes jokes with the audience, the setlist is full of a nice mix of new/old and songs, and songs like I Am One and Silverfuck don't yet feature their obligatory rant sections. This show proves how good the band could be in front of a big audience. Too bad they didn't treat most audiences as good as they treated this one. Just listen to the ending "Goodbye" and "Yeah" screams that Billy gives to the audience. A shame that sort of friendly personality didn't show up anywhere during the October-December SD tour.
Also of note here is that this show features the band playing "Geek USA" in standard tuning, as opposed to the Eb tuning of the album version. When the band had debuted the song in 1992 as "Suicide Kiss", the song was played in standard tuning. When they premiered the song in its new format in 1993, they played it the same way that they had recorded it on the new album, in Eb. Yet starting with this show in Pontiac, for whatever reason, they played the song in standard tuning. They would continue to play the song in standard tuning all the way through to the end of the Metro shows, as well as at the first dates of the Europe tour later in the month. Starting with the Lowlands Festival show on 8/27, they'd return to playing the song in Eb.
As for the recording, during the first few songs you hear the taper and his friends making their way down closer to the stage. They make a bit of noise talking to each other and cheering, but you can still hear the band in the background. After a few songs, the sound is more consistent and remains so through the rest of the show. The overall sound lacks some low end, and the crowd gets loud at times, but it's still definitely very listenable.
Flaws : none apart from a tiny tape problem on track 3 CD2 at 13'07''